KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — An Italian Carabinieri unit is predicted in Congo Tuesday to analyze the killings of the Italian ambassador to Congo, an Italian Carabinieri police officer and their driver within the nation’s east.

Congolese authorities and members of the United Nations Mission in Congo are additionally anticipated in Goma, in japanese Congo to look into the killings.

Luca Attanasio, the ambassador to Congo since 2017, Carabinieri officer Vittorio Iacovacci and their driver Moustapha Milambo have been killed Monday in an ambush as their World Meals Program convoy was touring from Goma, Congo’s japanese regional capital, to go to a WFP faculty undertaking in Rutshuru, the U.N. company mentioned.

Congo’s inside ministry mentioned 4 others within the convoy have been kidnapped, however one particular person has since been discovered by Congo’s military.

The physique of the ambassador and the officer will likely be flown to Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, Monday after which to Rome, in accordance with native media studies.

Congo’s authorities has blamed the killings on the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, the Rwandan Hutu insurgent group often known as FDLR.

The insurgent group, nevertheless, on Tuesday, denied accountability for the assault.

“The FDLR declares that there’s nothing to implicate it within the assault that resulted within the demise of the Italian ambassador and asks that Congolese authorities and MONUSCO to do all they will to make clear these accountable for this ignoble assassination,” insurgent spokesman Treatment Ngoma mentioned in a press release.

The insurgent group famous the assault befell within the “three antennas” space close to Goma and the border of Rwanda and near Congolese and Rwandan army positions. It blamed the killings on these forces.

Japanese Congo is residence to myriad insurgent teams all vying for management of elements of the mineral-rich, loosely ruled Central African nation that’s the measurement of Western Europe.

Greater than 120 armed teams are energetic in japanese Congo which has been insecure for greater than 25 years, in accordance with Kivu Safety Tracker, a joint undertaking between Human Rights Watch and the Congo Analysis Institute to watch armed violence in Japanese Congo.

Within the particular space of the assault, a number of armed teams are energetic together with the FDLR, the Nyatura militia and remnants of the previous M23 rebels.

It’s uncommon for a prime diplomat to be focused in japanese Congo, however assaults have been rising, Pierre Boisselet, coordinator of the Kivu Safety Tracker, mentioned.

“Assaults on humanitarians and kidnappings of humanitarian employees have been growing. Final 12 months we recorded 12 of these incidents in North and South Kivu, however just one led to a demise,” he mentioned.

“Normally violence by armed teams targets civilians,” or civilians are damage amid clashes between armed teams and the military.

The assault, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) north of Goma, was proper subsequent to Virunga Nationwide Park.

The U.N. automobiles have been hijacked by the attackers and brought into the bush. The Congolese military and park guards for Virunga Nationwide Park responded to the assault and there was an alternate of fireplace, in accordance with North Kivu Gov. Carly Nzanzu Kasivita.

Attanasio was shot within the stomach, and was then transported to the U.N. Mission in Congo hospital the place he died from his wounds, in accordance with Congo’s inside ministry. The motive force and police officer died on the scene.

The WFP mentioned the assault occurred on a street that had been cleared beforehand for journey with out safety escorts, and it was looking for extra info from native officers on the assault.

Congo’s inside ministry mentioned the provincial authorities of North Kivu weren’t conscious of the presence of the Italian ambassador and subsequently didn’t present him with safety measures. U.N. peacekeeping chief Jean-Pierre Lacroix mentioned that the willpower of whether or not roads are secure is generally made by U.N. safety officers within the nation.

He mentioned he had no particulars on “the precise unfolding of the incident,” and that “The investigation will convey, hopefully, readability to that.”

Italy’s International Ministry mentioned Tuesday it’ll spare no effort to seek out out precisely what occurred within the tragic assault.

In Rome, International Minister Luigi Di Maio mentioned he would quickly transient Parliament on the assault and cautioned in opposition to untimely reconstructions of what transpired. A second of silence was deliberate in Parliament on Tuesday. Rome prosecutors have opened an investigation, which is completed at any time when an Italian citizen is killed abroad.

Flags at Italian authorities buildings flew at half-staff as tributes poured in for the 2 males. In a front-page obituary in main Corriere della Sera, the overseas ministry secretary common, Elisabetta Belloni, mentioned Attanasio firmly believed that by means of multilateral diplomacy, he may assist make the world a greater place.

The assault occurred in the identical space the place two Britons have been kidnapped by unidentified gunmen in 2018, although they have been launched days later.

Japanese Congo stays one of the vital insecure elements of the expansive nation. Greater than 2,000 civilians have been killed final 12 months in japanese Congo provinces by armed insurgent teams, in accordance with U.N. studies final week.

The U.N. peacekeeping mission has been working towards decreasing its greater than 17,000-troop presence within the nation and handing over its safety work to Congolese authorities.


Petesch reported from Dakar, Senegal. Nicole Winfield in Rome contributed.